Who is the Joke On?
In a ‘Dave’ poll the winner of the best Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe was Sweden’s 8th best comedian Olaf Falafel’s gag, “I keep randomly shouting out ‘Broccoli’ and ‘Cauliflower’ – I think I might have florets”.
But a support charity Tourettes Action, Reg Charity no: 1003317 aka Tourette Syndrome (UK) Association for people with Tourette’s has taken offence. Suzanne Dobson Chief Executive has highlighted the gag as “cheap” and said it did little more than to reinforce stereotypes of those who are “extremely stigmatised”.
Next in line for criticism was Garry Lineker and the BBC. The offensive banter quote was ‘It’s a strong start to the Premier League season. Real hair-raising stuff at time… unless you are Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy’ . This caused at least one minor complaint to the BBC and for charity 1111304 – ALOPECIA UK to talk to a newspaper. A spokes person is quoted in the Daily Telegraph ‘jokes about physical attributes are extremely outdated and this includes banter about hair loss’.
- If you subscribe to the views that ‘The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.’ and ‘All publicity is good publicity.’ then managed outrage can give a charity a useful public platform.
- It is unlikely that public awareness would have increased about the medical conditions if the charities concerned and the media had not risen to the bait.